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Class of 2011? Ten High Profile Films Pushed Back to Next Year

With All Good Things and Biutiful confirming their December dates, Tree of Life apparently falling back into this “calender” year and Peter Weir’s The Way Back looking at a Telluride opening, there are a batch of films (ten listed below) that are not entirely ready and we are not entirely sure why.

With All Good Things and Biutiful confirming their December dates, Tree of Life apparently falling back into this “calender” year and Peter Weir’s The Way Back looking at a Telluride opening, there are a batch of films (ten listed below) that are not entirely ready and we are not entirely sure why.

IndieWIRE’s Peter Knegt gave this low down on some titles that missed TIFF, I decided to give a more complete picture on significant 2010 no-shows that in all appearances should be ready.

The Beaver
Summit Ent. could easily have taken a summer spot directly after releasing the latest Twilight film on this 2008 Black List topper. Perhaps there were plans for a fall release, and we all know why it didn’t make it to market, but it’s also entirely possible that once they saw Mel Gibson’s co-star Jennifer Lawrence breakout with Winter’s Bone, that the extra wait might pull off bigger dividends and a post Oscar nomination might help out. French speaking Jodie Foster in Cannes might be a good place to start. 

The Details
With no distributor attached, I figured that this dramedy, a marriage on the rocks type with a side dish of blackmail featuring Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Trammell and Laura Linney was poised for a TIFF premiere. Directed by Jacob Aaron Estes, the film had hit a rough batch with James McAvoy jumping ship, but the film lassoed Maguire instead. Perhaps the first sign of it will be an AFM highest bidder in November, or a possible big Eccles screening debut in Park City next year.

Faust
In the world of foreign language cinema, Aleksandr Sokurov’s next film is a big deal. Hanna Schygulla (from Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies and Akin’s The Edge of Heaven) stars in one more film adaptation of a “deal with the devil” — there are about 20 versions since the inception of film. Despite this being pegged with a 2010 release in Russia, knowing Sokurov, this will have a big festival premiere perhaps as early as Berlin next February.  

The Grand Master
If I remember correctly, production began in early spring, and though many people want to deliver their Bruce Lee films in this anniversary year, one can’t rush a genius like Wong Kar-Wai. Don’t be surprised if this film, which stars Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang and Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Ip Man, gets pushed back to Cannes of next year — it’s still being tapped as a December release in Hong Kong this year. 

The Hungry Rabbit Jumps
Perhaps this is the odd “film” out among the top ten named here — as director Roger Donaldson doesn’t exactly scream “must see” and the odd ensemble of Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Jennifer Carpenter and Guy Pearce could end up just doing paycheck work here…..the big but is: this is a Black List mentioned script, and could well be a film where the sellers are looking for a less crowded showcase than the one we find at TIFF. Don’t be surprised if we hear about it as soon as the AFM — where it could get some good traction out of the popular actor names.

London Boulevard
Another Black List screenplay but from an established scribe and first time filmmaker in William Monahan, this has an October release pegged in the U.K — which means perfectly timed for a BFI London Film Fest and Rome Film Festival showing — but what’s the deal with North American? So far, there is no mention of a fest debut over here, (Telluride gets announced this weekend). This crime thriller stars Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley and a really solid supporting cast so we are sure of a theatrical release very early in 2011.

London Boulevard William Monahan

Perfect Sense
What we do have as information is that this was formerly known as “Last Word”. We haven’t heard much news since the almost undetected title change. This story about two people who fall in love as the world begins to fall apart and stars Ewan McGregor and Eva Green and is directed by David Mackenzie. Not sure why this has been in post for so long, but perhaps it will follow the Monahan lead and receive fest debuts in both London and Rome as well. Anyone have a better guess?

Red Tails
We can bet that Lucasfilm weren’t waiting on actor Bryan Cranston winning Emmy (by the way, he just did) to give this Anthony Hemingway debut more clout. Like the other eight out of nine films mentioned on this list, this story of the Tuskegee Airmen (the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II) is without distribution, and is going to be carefully promoted/pitched to whomever picks it up.

The Rum Diary
With Johnny Depp shipwrecked with another “Pirates” movie and knowing how much he has cared for this Hunter S. Thompson adaptation, this Bruce Robinson directed project shunning the 2010 schedule might not be a “sign of trouble”, but rather promotional conflicts. This features Depp, Amber Heard and Aaron Eckhart.

The Turin Horse
Production on Bela Tarr’s supposed final film apparently hit a couple of snags (weather related I think) and this might have meant a Cannes participation was impossible, I’m guessing that Thierry Frémaux promised the Hungarian filmmaker a spot, so expect this to skip out on every festival until next year’s film fest classic.

And what about…

Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret is going to get a release by Fox Searchlight next year.

Tony Kaye’s Black Water Transit has changed hands, the courts cleared the dispute and should get some kind of a release.

Nailed — David O. Russell has taken his name off the project, and producers are set on shooting the remaining scenes with another director. 

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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